Let them hear that the budget cuts are unacceptable Call, visit and invite them to visit your program!
Despite Grinch-like gridlock, Congress is home for the holidays! They are working from their offices in New Jersey meeting with constituents. They need to hear from all of us that the budget cuts are unacceptable. The House is home until January 17, 2012 and the Senate is home until January 23rd.
Over the next decade, the cuts to key federal domestic spending will reduce spending for crucial housing and human service funding to levels not seen in more than fifty years. The President’s Office of Management and Budget has already asked each department including HUD for FY2013 to “provide budgets based on two scenarios: a 5 percent cut and a 10 percent cut from the 2011 enacted discretionary level.” And this does not include the impact of a 9.1 % sequestration on January 2, 2013.
Sequestration alone could result in 202,491 people losing Section 8 rental assistance along with 27,758 homeless persons receiving housing and supportive services.
Until we articulate and share a better narrative with our legislators that illustrate the importance of supportive housing as both a job creator as well as a means to address a broad set of social challenges facing communities across the nation including homelessness, we will continue to be subject to cuts.
If ever there was a time for grassroots organizing it is now. We need to visit, call, fax and email them to make sure that they hear from all of us that the budget cuts are unacceptable.
Invite them to make a site visit, or tour your programs. This is one of the single most impactful strategies for persuading your elected officials to strengthen government’s response to homelessness. They provide an opportunity for your Members of Congress to see first-hand how a program works, its impact on people and programs in their district, and the connection between the policy issues with which they deal every day and the ways in which programs implement solutions-focused interventions. Click here for more information.
We strongly encourage you to contact New Jersey’s Representative and Senators when they are home for the holidays to let them know that these cuts are unacceptable and that when we fail to implement successful and long-term solutions to homelessness, we pay the price – with our limited public funds and with the lives of men, women, families, youth, and veterans who sleep on the street.